Water: State Supreme Court denies BLNR petition
SA UPDATE Aug 24, 2023: … the state Supreme Court this morning denied a petition by the Board of Land and Natural Resources claiming a judge’s ruling prevented enough water from being available to fight the Upcountry wildfires.
In its brief order denying the petition, the court said state attorneys failed to establish “a clear and indisputable right to the relief requested.”
Justices on Wednesday afternoon heard oral arguments on the petition, which claimed the actions of Environmental Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree hampered efforts to fight the fires that destroyed some 19 homes and blackened thousands of acres.
In its petition, the board was aiming to move a dispute over the use of East Maui water forward and overturn the June decision by Crabtree authorizing East Maui stream diversions to 31.5 million gallons of water per day, a reduction from the 40 million gallons per day authorized by BLNR.
During the hearing, a Maui County attorney told justices there was enough water to battle the wind-whipped flames….
read … Honolulu Star-Advertiser (staradvertiser.com)
SA: High Court rejects petition claiming insufficient water
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Supreme court convenes virtual oral arguments over alleged water mismanagement in Maui wildfire crisis
KITV Aug 23, 2023: … oral arguments concerning how much water was permitted to battle the Maui wildfires took place in supreme court today.
Attorneys for the state an Alexander and Baldwin filed a petition to the supreme court on August 9th on the issue, claiming that there was not enough water being supplied to extinguish the devasting Maui fires.
They are now demanding the supreme court to overturn a previous court decision that was made in June, limiting the east Maui stream diversions to 31.5 million gallons of water per day. That number is down from 40 million gallons previously authorized by the Board of Land and Natural Resources….
HNN: High court justices challenge state’s claims of insufficient water for Maui firefighting (hawaiinewsnow.com)
read … Supreme court convenes virtual oral arguments over alleged water mismanagement in Maui wildfire crisis
Not enough water to fight Upcountry Maui fires, state claims
SA Aug 23, 2023: … On the day after wind-driven wildfires broke out across Maui, the state filed a complaint to the state Supreme Court claiming that, due to a judge’s ruling, there was not enough water to fight the flames that destroyed some 19 Upcountry homes and thousands of acres.
Later that day state Environmental Court Judge Jeffrey Crabtree issued a temporary stay on his order, making the water available. But because it takes 24 hours from the points of diversion for water to reach the reservoirs, there was even further delay, according to the filing.
The complaint, filed by the state attorneys on behalf of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources, asks the court to move the water dispute forward and to overturn the June decision by Crabtree authorizing East Maui stream diversions to 31.5 million gallons of water per day, a reduction from the 40 million gallons per day authorized by BLNR.
Oral arguments about the issue were held before the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, ending with Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald saying the justices would consider the arguments in a decision to be issued later….
read … Not enough water to fight Upcountry Maui fires, state claims
MN: Petition to give more water to private companies denied
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No. SCPW-23-0000471, Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 2 p.m.
Supreme Court Oral Arguments Schedule
BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI‘I, Petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE JEFFREY P. CRABTREE, Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i, Respondent Judge, and SIERRA CLUB; ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, INC.; EAST MAUI IRRIGATION COMPANY, LLC; and COUNTY OF MAUI, Respondents.
The above-captioned case has been set for oral argument on the merits.
The oral argument will be held remotely and will be livestreamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/hawaiicourts and Olelo TV 55.
Attorneys for Petitioner BOARD OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES, STATE OF HAWAI‘I:
Julie H. China, Danica L. Swenson, and Miranda C. Steed, Deputy Attorneys General
Attorney for Respondent SIERRA CLUB:
David Kimo Frankel
Attorneys for Respondents ALEXANDER & BALDWIN, INC. and EAST MAUI IRRIGATION COMPANY, LLC:
David Schulmeister, Trisha H.S.T. Akagi, and Mallory T. Martin of Cades Schutte LLP
Attorneys for Respondent COUNTY OF MAUI:
Mariana Lowy-Gerstmar and Kristin K. Tarnstrom, Deputies Corporation Counsel
NOTE: Order assigning Circuit Judge Wendy M. DeWeese and Circuit Judge James S. Kawashima due to vacancies, filed 8/16/23.
COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., McKenna and Eddins, JJ., and Circuit Judge DeWeese and Circuit Judge Kawashima, assigned by reason of vacancies
This original proceeding concerns Petitioner Board of Land and Natural Resources’ (BLNR’s) requests for a writ of mandamus directing the Honorable Jeffrey P. Crabtree, Judge of the Circuit Court of the First Circuit (Respondent Judge) to enter final judgment in 1CCV-22-0001506, and a writ of prohibition enjoining the Respondent Judge from altering the amount of water that is allowed to be diverted under the revocable permits. BLNR also requests an immediate stay of the Respondent Judge’s decision to alter the amount of water that is allowed to be diverted under the revocable permits pending this court’s decision on BLNR’s petition for writs of mandamus and prohibition.
PDF: Petition SCPW-23-0000471